How to Travel from Xining to Zhangye? By Train or By Bus

Xining is the capital city of Qinghai Province and an important gateway city to Tibet Plateau. Whether you go to Tibet from Xining, or finish Tibet discovery journey passing through Xining, you can have a Xining layover tour, enjoy beautiful natural scenery, especially the picturesque water scape of Qinghai Lake, and experience unique ethnic customs and culture different from that of Tibet area. With short distance and convenient transportation, it’s also a good idea to travel to Zhangye from Xining, witness amazing “rainbow mountains” and older Buddhist culture on ancient “Silk Road”.

Where is Zhangye? How far is Zhangye from Xining?

Serving as the politic and transportation center of Qinghai Province, Xining (西宁) is located in the east of Qinghai Province, upstream of Yellow River. It is also a must pass of Tang-Tibet Ancient Road and south path of ancient “Silk Road”. Zhangye (张掖) is situated in the northwest of Gansu Province and middle of the Hexi Corridor. Meanwhile, Qinghai borders Gansu in the north and east. Xining and Zhangye, then, are separated by Haibei Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai Province.

Currently, travelers can take (bullet) train and bus to get to Zhangye from Xining. And there is no direct flight available from Xining to Zhangye.

The private driving distance between Xining to Zhangye is: about 340 km / 6 hours.

Xining to Zhangye Transportation Xining to Zhangye Transportation Map

Option 1: Get from Xining to Zhangye By Bullet Train - Most Recommended

Taking a fast bullet train to get to Zhangye from Xining is the first and best choice for all tourists. Every day, there are over 10 bullet trains (D trains) departing from Xining Railway Station (西宁站) in Xining and arriving at Zhangye West Railway Station (张掖西站) in Zhangye. The train journey is within 2 hours, most of which are direct trains and few have stopover at 1 to 2 stations midway.

The Xining to Zhangye bullet trains are arranged leaving from about 09:00 to 19:30. Two types of seats you can choose: First Class Seat and Second Class Seat. Ticket costs nearly 100 RMB (for Second Class Seat) to 150 RMB (First Class Seat).

Useful Links:

Xining to Zhangye Bullet Train Schedules
Zhangye to Xining Bullet Train Schedules
China Train Travel Guide

Recommended Xining Zhangye Train Tours:

☛ 7 Days Zhangye Danxia and Badain Jaran Desert Tour
☛ 7 Days Miraculous Land Tour from Dunhuang to Zhangye Xining

Xining to Zhangye Xining Railway Station
Xining to Zhangye Xining to Zhangye Bullet Train Arrivaing at Zhangye West Railway Station

Option 2: Get from Xining to Zhangye By Bus

From & To: Xining Long-Distance Bus Station (西宁长途汽车站) → Zhangye Bus Station (张掖汽车站)

Distance: about 343 km/213 mi

Estimated Driving Time: about 6~7 hours

The shortest bus ride to Zhangye from Xining completely drives on the well-paved China National Highway 227, crossing Qilian Mountain, Menyuan in Qinghai and Minle County in Gansu Province. It takes more than half a day, about 3 to 3.5 times longer than a bullet train. The bus will go uphill and downhill constantly, even pass some dangerous narrow roads and zigzagged mountain paths. However, the scenery en route is surprisingly beautiful, especially in July and August when looking hundreds of miles of sea of golden rape flowers in Menyuan (门源).

Our Advice: Considering the budget and itinerary, we highly recommend you take a bullet train from Xining to Zhangye.

Xining to Zhangye Bus Zhangye Bus Station

How to Plan A Xining Zhangye Tour

Though located close in northwestern China, Xining and Zhangye present two different kinds of charm to visitors. It’s definitely worth to visit more special and famous destinations to make your once-in-a-lifetime “Silk Road” journey more significant, memorable, meaningful and unique.

Xining is a plateau ancient city with more than 2,100 years’ history, a vital communication hub between Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to central areas and the starting of Qinghai Tibet Railway. It is more used as a transit point, short transit for 1 to 2 days. In Xining, you can visit Taer Temple (Kumbum Monastery) - one of the six Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism enjoying high reputation in China, and most people take side trip to Qinghai Lake (Lake Kokonor) - the largest inland lake of China and Chaka Salt Lake - the well-known “Mirror of the Sky”.

Useful Links: Popular Xining (Qinghai) Tours / Xining Travel Guide

Recommended Xining Tour: 3 Days Qinghai Short Stay Tour

Zhangye is most famous for the colorful Danxia Landform Geopark, where you can see rainbow-like mountains spread endless. Besides seeing the natural wonder, you can spend 1 day more to see the Buddhist culture in Zhangye, pay a visit to Mati Temple to see the mysterious grottoes and to Giant Buddha Temple where preserves the largest Reclining Buddha in Asia. If you get more time, we suggest you trace the ancient “Silk Road” to observe more highlights, such as the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, the westernmost Great Wall in Jiayuguan and further trip to Urumqi in Xinjiang.

Useful Links: Popular Zhangye Tours / Zhangye Travel Guide / Zhangye Attractions

Recommended Zhangye Tour: 3 Days Zhangye Danxia Classic Tour

Xining to Zhangye Kumbum Monastery in Xining
Xining to Zhangye Our Customers Enjoyed Trip to Zhangye Danxia Geopark

Travel Zhangye with China Discovery

China Discovery is a professional, reliable and experienced travel companion offering best tour services for our guests. We not only provide travel guide and tips online, but also try our best to make sure you enjoy your China travel, supporting you on visa, transport, sightseeing, accommodation, dining and more details. You may select from our popular Zhangye tours, or contact us to customize a special one based on your own interests, budget and itinerary.

Recommended Longer Silk Road Tour with Xining or Zhangye

☛ 15 Days Classic Ancient China Silk Road Tour with Bullet Train Experience
☛ 6 Days Hexi Corridor Discovery Tour
☛ 10 Days Qinghai and Gansu Highlights Tour

Recommended Xining Zhangye Tours

Top 3 Xining Zhangye tours chosen by most customers to explore Xining Zhangye in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary,or tailor your own trip now with us.

Mysterious lakes in deep Badain Jaran Desert
8 Days Qinghai Lake Zhangye Danxia Badain Jaran Desert Wonders Tour

Xining - Zhangye - Badain Jaran Desert

Zhangye Danxia Geopark - the Rainbow Mountains
6 Days Qinghai Lake Zhangye Danxia Rainbow Mountains Dramatic Tour

Xining - Qinghai Lake - Chaka Lake - Zhangye

Matisi Temple is famous for Buddhist culture, grotto art, Qilian Mountain landscape and Tibetan culture
8 Days Miraculous Land Tour from Dunhuang to Zhangye Xining

Dunhuang - Jiayuguan - Zhangye - Xining

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

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